Latest Situation Updates

June 13, 2014: Yemen 2014 Central Highland Rust Surveys – Yellow rust and stem rust present, but at generally low levels

Rust surveys were undertaken in the central Highlands of Yemen during the period 20-25th May 2014. The surveys were undertaken by scientists from the Agricultural Research & Extension Authority (AREA), with the survey team being Musaed Eisa, Rashad Al Basha and Mohmmed Alsaadi. A total of 20 farmer fields were surveyed in Jahran, Qaa Alhagel, Sheraa, Rebat Alqala and Qaa Aldailamy; along with research plots at the AREA Central Highlands Research Station.

In the farmer fields the major varieties cultivated were Shaba ad Bohoth 13. Yellow rust was quite widely distributed, but in general severity was quite low. Only 6 fields recorded severity of 40-50S. Stem rust was only present in 4 fields with low incidence and severity in farmer fields. Leaf rust was absent on the surveys and no rust was observed on Barley.

On station, both yellow and stem rust were recorded at high severity (80-90S) on susceptible lines. It was noted that the stem rust infections observed were slightly unusual, as most infections normally occur in the summer season (October). Samples were collected and will be sent to the Global Rust Reference Center, Denmark for race analysis.

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May 23, 2014: Iran 2014 Rust Surveys – Isolated occurrence of wheat rusts, but generally very low disease pressure for Iranian farmers

Extensive wheat disease surveys have been undertaken throughout the main wheat growing regions of Iran during the period February to May 2014. The surveys were coordinated by Dr Farzad Afshari, Seed and Plant Improvement Institute (SPII), Karaj and involved several institutes within Iran.

Surveys were undertaken in Khuzestan province in south-west Iran during February 2014. Surveys were conducted by Drs Afshari, Kamali, Esmaeilzadeh, Najafi Mirak and colleagues from Khuzestan. In 2013 these areas had experienced a very severe stripe rust outbreak; the current survey only recorded isolated occurrence of stripe rust in the south of the province, with no damage on farmers fields. In the north of the province (Dezful and Shosh) only 2 fields were observed with stripe and leaf rust on a susceptible cultivar. All fields visited in Shavoor and Ahvaz were free of rusts. The wheat crop was reported to be in good condition and there was seen to be no risk of either stripe or leaf rust development in this critical wheat growing state.

Surveys undertaken in the central-southern areas (Isfahan to Fars) revealed a similar picture of low disease pressure. In Isfahan, farmers fields surveyed were free of rusts. In Fars, stripe rust was detected only on susceptible cultivars such as Chamran; severity was low (20S) and given the stage of crop development there was no chance of serious rust development. In the southern parts of Fars only an estimated 1000ha of wheat were sprayed for stripe rust control in April. Countrywide it is estimated that only 6000ha have been sprayed in the current season.

In the northern areas (Mazanderan and Golestan provinces), infections of powdery mildew were observed and some patchy areas with leaf rust. Overall, there was considered to be no chance of any serious rust outbreaks developing.

During the period 17-22 May Drs Kamali and Khodarahmi surveyed Glestan, Mazanderan and Shiraz. At Gorgan research station heavy stem rust infections were observed on the cultivar Morvarid. Samples were collected for further race analysis, but a local race is suspected. No major disease problems were observed in the other areas.

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May 14, 2014: Bangladesh 2014 Rust Surveys – High leaf rust pressure and the first stem rust records in three decades

Fig. 1. Wheat stem rust at Dinajpur, May 2014

Fig. 1. Wheat stem rust at Dinajpur, May 2014 (Photo credit: Dr P.K. Malaker WRC, Dinajpur)

Extensive annual rust surveys were undertaken throughout the wheat growing areas of Bangladesh during February-March 2014. The surveys were coordinated by Dr P.K. Malaker of the Wheat Research Centre (WRC), Dinajpur, but implemented by several collaborating stations, including; Dinajpur, Joydebpur, Jamalpur, Jessore and Rajshahi. A total of 230 different locations were covered by the survey teams. 2014 was a favourable year for wheat rusts in Bangladesh. It was exceptional in the respect that all three rusts were recorded on the survey. Leaf rust was the most frequent with much higher disease pressure than in previous years. Leaf rust was very widely distributed, being present throughout the wheat growing regions of Bangladesh. Almost 90% of the sites surveyed (n=197) recorded leaf rust, and 50% of these had high or moderate severity. Highest severity was recorded in the north-west and western wheat growing areas of Bangladesh (Map 1).  The popular variety ‘Prodip’ was notably susceptible to leaf rust.

Stem rust was putatively recorded at two widely separated locations in Jamalpur and Jessore and later, clear symptom (Fig. 1) of the disease with susceptible reaction was observed at WRC, Dinajpur. Only low severity and incidence were recorded. The disease was observed on few lines in the rust trap nurseries from ICARDA, but not in any other cultivars or lines. The symptoms

Map 1. Leaf Rust Severity 2014 (red dots = high severity, orange dots = mod severity, yellow dots = low severity)

Map 1. Leaf Rust Severity 2014 (red dots = high severity, orange dots = mod severity, yellow dots = low severity)

and urediospore morphology were examined at WRC, Dinajpur and ascertained to be of stem rust. Samples were collected and are undergoing race analysis at DWR Regional Station in Shimla, India. These would probably represent the first stem rust records from Bangladesh in three decades. Yellow rust was recorded only at WRC, Dinajpur. The disease was found on the rust susceptible check variety Morocco in a trial plot. Yellow rust is infrequent in Bangladesh, but does occur sporadically.

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